Holy Spirit leads you, but He never drives you.
Category Archives: Commentary
once said the more things change, the more they stay the same. It
appears contradictory, nevertheless true. Vaunted progress in most
every field of endeavor characterizes the present time, but the
universal plight, and the persistent actions of men remain unchanged.
Nowadays, good is called evil and evil is called good. Selfishness
largely rules, and the unchanging principles of time and eternity are
pushed aside for what men want right now.
It was to a similar generation of Jesus’ day that he explained the ministry of John the Baptist, and the subsequent kingdom of heaven. There were those who heard him, and they with the publicans justified God being baptized with the baptism of John. On the other hand, there were many of the lawyers and Pharisees who rejected the counsel of God against themselves by rejecting the baptism of John. Luke 7.
They wanted to pit the ministry of John against the ministry of Jesus. They criticized the person of John as aloft, stoic, antisocial because he was not given to eating bread, nor drinking wine with them. Then they criticized Jesus because He did those things, calling Him a gluttonous man, a winebibber, and a friend of publicans and sinners. In short, nothing could be right in the eyes of these critics but their own twisted formula of life. How that remains. Times have changed, but the more they change, the more they stay the same.
Jesus summarized the generation of His earthly ministry. “They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.” Luke 7:31-32. This is an unchanged status quo, having multiplied exponentially.
Men do not have the qualifications, nor any ability to call upon the substance or perimeters of eternity. God does! Moreover, the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are in covenant relationship with Him, so they have been given the knowledge of eternity by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. They have visited that dimension vicariously, and proven their understanding by the eternal, unchanging Word. It is they who justify God, not only being baptized with the baptism of John, but offering the same to such as bring forth fruit meet for repentance. With them, by God’s grace, I stand! Trusting one’s pompous, but powerless formulations is silly. Trusting the eternal creator of the universe is wise.
Bro. Hess has given a good presentation on the law
Being the God who knows everything, is the same God that gave the Law as is recorded throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. So did the all-knowing (omniscient) God really think that it was possible for man to be able to keep the whole law without messing up at all? If so, why would He give such a law that would condemn those who broke it to death, physically and spiritually?
Look at what James wrote in James 2:8-11. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
So what does this tell us? Any one infraction of the Law, regardless of whether one considers it a “small” infraction or not, it still pronounces us as guilty and therefore, we have missed God’s mark of perfection, which is what is called sin. What are we told in Romans 6:23? For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, in this respect, the Law worked against man in that it showed man what God considered as sin and therefore man is guilty if he breaks the law in any way. Man has absolutely NO excuse for doing ANYTHING that God doesn’t want him to do. The Law, that Paul wrote about in Colossians 2:14 is called “the handwriting of ordinances”. What did he say about the law? “.Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; So why did God give us a Law “that was against us and contrary to us”?
Here is what Paul stated in Romans 7. In verse 7 Paul said that “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. In his early years, Paul THOUGHT that what he was doing was right in the sight of God and that he was safe. But when the law was revealed to him, it was by the law that he knew what God considered to be sin. Now look at what he said in Romans 5:20. ” Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
The law exposed sin in such a way that it gave sin a broader perspective in the mind of man. The Jews did not fully understand how big sin really was in God’s eyes. They considered, as many do today, that there were “little” sins that didn’t carry as much weight as the “bigger” sins. But in God’s eyes there are NO “little” sins or NO “big” sins. Sin is sin. So the law made it possible for man to see just how “BIG” ALL sin was in the eyes of God. And as such, sin of any kind had the overall penalty of death. Therefore, the necessity of “GOD’S GRACE” became more important and necessary to a man. We see these words when we read all of Romans 5:20-21. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
In Galatians 3:10 Paul wrote “ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” In Galatians 2:16 we read, “ Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.“ Then on to Galatians 2:21 where we read, “ I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” And what about what Paul wrote in Romans 3:20? “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Isaiah 64:6 gives a message of no hope when it comes to what we can do of ourselves. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
So seeing what we have read in these references, what really WAS the purpose of the Law?
(1) As we saw in Romans 5:20 and 7:7 God gave the Law so that man would be able to see sin through the eyes of God. Sin was “bigger” than man realized.
(2) As we saw in Galatians 3:10; 2:16,21 ; and 3:20 the law was totally impossible to keep to the point of gaining righteousness in God’s eyes.
(3) Isaiah’s message from God was that our best “good” doesn’t even come close to bringing us to God.
But look at the beautiful information that Paul gives us in answer to the question, “What really was the purpose of the law?”. In Galatians 3:23-25 we read these magnificent words. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
Notice these words; “…kept under the law, …”we were imprisoned under the law. Those words were followed by “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,”the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ.
Man needed something to show him how helpless he was in being able to make it possible for him to come into the proper relationship with God. The law was what God used to show man that he needed a MEDIATOR between himself and God. Jesus Christ was that Mediator. ” For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; ” (I Timothy 2:5). Jesus was the One and only Way to the Father. Jesus was the REAL truth in physical form to point man to the Father. Jesus was the only one who could give man the spiritual, eternal life that was necessary to prepare man to meet and live with the Father. No human being can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ.
I hope and pray that this lesson has answered the question “What really was the purpose of the law?” for you.
If GOD wanted to prove Himself, He could roll back the heavens and make Himself known with a display of His grandeur, might, and glory. however, such displays would render FAITH unnecessary. – Adrian Rogers
Parson to Person
is not unusual for adults to tire easily over the apparent,
bottomless, curiosity of a small child. From such questions as “Where
do the white clouds go at night,” to “How does this work,” to
endless interrogatives of “Why,” the pressing need for
information to bring order, understanding, and meaning to life itself
persists, and that is so good! It is a shame that much of that is
stiffled in mature adulthood (after all, one does not want to appear
to be ignorant). Ultimately, it is a loss that bears its own
irrevocable reward in time and eternity. Think about it!
I relate here an old story of an ambitious preacher’s nightmare. A young minister whose zeal far outstripped his wisdom came face to face with his religious motivation one fateful night. In his dream, he met and had a conversation with the Lord. He earnestly besought the Lord to make him a popular, widely accepted preacher. To his dismay, the Lord simply asked, “Why?” Somewhat befuddled, he went on to say that he wanted to be respected as a wise, holy man among his peers. Again, the Lord retorted, “Why?” The preacher quickly searched for an answer to the unexpected question. He stated that he wanted to build a large, megachurch with multiple staff, and magnificent choirs. Once more, the Lord asked “Why?” It was then that he awakened with profound thoughts to settle, all relating to the piercing question “Why.” All of God’s people, and especially ministers of the gospel would do well to identify with the ambitious preacher. Spiritual realities are often far removed from fleshly religion, no matter how noble the intent may be.
Truly, to be legitimately added to the church of the Lord Jesus, in covenant relationship with Him is a deep, personal, spiritual state to be nourished through the sustainment and constraints of the Word. Failure in this discipleship will find one sinking into the perpetual status quo of spiritual infancy in which the flesh delights in the external talking points of religion, as Paul told Timothy. “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” On the other hand, realizing He must increase, but I must decrease subjugates any religious pomp of man to the well grounded status of belonging to Him. It is He who gives the increase, and except He build the house, labor is in vain, and the degree of glory one might receive from the plaudits of men is the degree of robbery perpetrated upon His work. I do not reference or laud spiritual lethargy, but commitment without reservation to the King of glory. Jesus underscored this principle in His kingdom parables, saying: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10
God is Americas biggest threat and OUR ONLY HOPE. – Adrian Rogers
God is searching our hearts in order to supply our deepest need.
If you feel far away from God, guess who moved. –
I would rather walk in the dark with God, than walk alone in the light;I would rather walk with Him by faith, than walk alone by sight.“He Knows,” The Christian Pioneer, 1876
God does not love us because we are valuable. We are valuable because God loves us. – Adrian Rogers